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Modern-Rock Ensemble - Night Dreams & Wishes CD (album) cover


Modern-Rock Ensemble



4.15 | 211 ratings

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RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars I've never heard of this band until Andrew Nazarenko, who sings in this album has asked me to review it. From the album's notes I see that this is aone man project by the multi-instrumentist Vladimir Gorashchenko (unusual for an "ensemble") , but with a very lot of guest artists. I have noticed the presence of three bassists, a strings section and numerous vocalists.

So let's see what it's about: first of all it's intened as a single long suite, apparently about the eternal fight between good and evil, but inside somebody's dream. I don't have other information, so this is what I have guessed. There aren't much lyrics as the album is mainly instrumental.

The 3 minutes introduction reminded me to the first track of "Land of Cockayne" by SOFT MACHINE, mainly for the mood. Being that an album that I like, despite what the hard fans of SM think, for me it's a very good start. Some passages are evocative, like parts of the Blade Runner soundtrack, even if not that dark. With the "Ouverture" it's clear that we are inside a suite. There's no solution of continuity between the intro and this, but here we start having percussion, odd signatures and a number of changes. I mean that there are many themes alernating inside this track, some of them will recur later. I have no other artists o compare this to. The strong bass, the keyboards, the signatures can be compared to YES, but the guitar doesn't have much to do with Howe's or Banks or Rabin's styles. "Night Comes, Dreams" starts with classical guitar over a keyboard layout. Guitar, keyboard and fretless bass, then the low pitched voice recalls CAMEL , but comparing this music to somebody else is just to give the idea. At this point I must say that I'm pleasantly surprised. This album is better than expected. Probably CAMEL is the best reference. Bogdan Gumenyuk at flute is as good as Mel Collins. The slap on bass sounds like a stick, and having mentioned Mel Collins, Gumenyuk is very good at Sax, too.

"Barocco Scherzo" is a little weirder. The main keyboard theme has a RPI sound, but the strange signature makes the difference. "Childhood and School Days" has some funky, too jazzy to be compared to Camel, with some darker parts which make the difference. Effectively, it' s more than a single track. Various themes come one after the other. A part of keyboards and guitar with no percussion followed by flute and piano is pure beauty. Incredible how it turns into a funky-jazz Zappaesque tune in the sung part. "Insomnia" is a short interlude featurinng a very good bass with flute and (glockenspiel?) playing a strange tune. It gives the idea of somebody unable to fall asleep.

Now the three tracks which follow are three part of something called "Dark Kingdom & The Evil Suite" which complessively score about 30 minutes. It would deserve a review on its own. It's darker than the previous tracks, as one can expect from the title. Robert FRIPP would probably like it. I won't describe the whole 30 minutes, apart of saying that it's very various even maintaining a dark flavor throughout the suite. Some Emersonian passages, some sounds like VANGELIS, 30 very enjoyable minutes.

A sweet "Wake Up" stops the bad dreaming. Acoustic guitar and keys on major and 7th+ chords and the baritone voice of, I suppose, Vladimir Goraschenko with the female harmonies of Anastasia Gorashenko. It's like CAMEL meet Ennio MORRICONE, plus the omnipresent flute. The Final/Outro is not much different in style. Ok, we had some bad dreaming, but now everything is fine and the album can happily go to its conclusion. In the various parts, the keyboard sounds go from WAKEMAN to EMERSON. It's another excellent track full of "classic prog". The only problem that I have with this album is that the various tracks have a very lot of different sections, like they were just a collection of short tunes tied together. Everything good, anyway.

There's time for a short bonus track, even if the lyrics are still about dreams, it's a rock song, quite different from the rest, good if taken alone but I find it "outplaced".

I'm enthusiastic about good part of the album, also because it exceeded my expectations, but I can't give it the maximum. It's an excellent addition, very above the average.

octopus-4 | 4/5 |


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